Albany - An upset in the race for Albany's Ward Three City commission seat. With 57% of the votes, political newcomer Morris Gurr beat 22-year incumbent Arthur Williams in the run-off. Gurr received 695 votes. Williams got 517 votes.
For the first time, Albany's Ward Three will be represented by a white commissioner. Morris Gurr was declared the winner of the Ward Three City commission run-off less than an hour after the voting polls closed. Between the phone calls of congratulation, hand shakes and hugs, he took time to thank the one who he says lead him to this moment.
"I quieted everyone down to sing a song to glorify the Lord.," said Gurr. "It was Him that called me to this, and I'm just thankful for that."
Gurr says he looks forward to getting to work come January.
"It's never a one man show, it's a group working together. All along, we said we were bringing a new spirit to the table, and that's exactly what we'll be bringing."
Gurr is taking that seat at the commission table from man a who's served the constituents of Ward Three for more than two decades, Arthur Williams.
"I would like to thank the people of Ward Three for putting their trust in me for the last 22 and a half years," said Williams.
Though defeated in this race, Williams says his political life is far from over. "Political office is a part of my blood. There are things that still need to be done," said Williams.
Williams's defeat came largely at the hands of voters added to the Ward during the latest redistricting. The highest voter turn-out was at Covenant Church, a new precinct in the district. 422 of the 442 votes cast there went to Gurr, sending him to victory.
Many voters in the historically black ward have said they're concerned a white man can represent them well. To them, Gurr said this, "I would say they don't know me or my heart yet. Once they do, they'll say 'Wow, we were wrong.'"
Gurr will have four years to prove he can represent all the people of Ward Three well. He will be sworn into office in January.
Voter turn-out in the run-off race was about 25%. 1,212 people out of nearly 4,800 registered voters cast ballots.